Potential ZJ owner in the making. Getting tired of putting cv axles and hub assemblies into my otherwise reliable and beige 2003 Saturn Vue so I am looking to purchase something that is a bit more.....robust. The 1998 I am looking at has 190k on it with a lot of goodies. Brand new tires, shocks, trailing arms/bushings, water pump, power steering pump, radiator, plugs, wires. heater hoses, catalytic converter, muffler...the list goes on. The only issue is that she doesn't actually run. Her ecm is done for. The seller is asking 800...I am fairly mechanically inclined but I do not want to get in over my head or have an extreme money pit full of gremlins on my hands. What do yall think?
I have pictures but I do not think I am allowed to attach them yet...
Will this be your DD? Seems a lot has been replaced but I am sure there will be other items that need replaced as well. I wouldn't be worried with the engine and tranny. They are tried and true. Everything else will eventually need replaced at some point though.
I have a 91 MX5 for a fair weather daily driver. I am trying to keep the Saturn below 100k so I can avoid a timing belt job. The Jeep will be a daily driver from October to April really. Ever since I bought the 91 MX5 I completely understand the appeal of older, less electronically burdened vehicles! My mother had a 93 Laredo with a 5.2, and I had a 97 Laredo 4.0 for a brief period of time. It was completely rotted and the motor had a cracked head but it was a lot of fun! I only paid a couple hundred for it and I thoroughly enjoyed the curb hopping snow bank smashing drift machine that it was! This ZJ is a lot nicer, but the ECM issue really concerns me.
Any vehicle with that many miles COULD turn into a money pit. If it were me I would look for something with less miles if you do not want to possibly be pouring more $$$ into it. Of course then the price goes up quite a bit. If you can do most of the work yourself then go for it. If you need to pay a mechanic I would pass. Prices are probably anywhere between $50-100 hour just for labor anymore.
mechanical work I have covered. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and pull some axle shafts out or change a water pump. The availability and price of an ECM and then the reliability of the new ECM is the only reason I am hesitant.
I am under the impression that any ECM that is purchased needs to be flashed at some sort of dealership in order to program in the mileage etc. My question is, can a Federal Emissions ECM work in a California Emissions vehicle? How will the vehicle know the difference, it is a vegetable without a brain and when a new one is put in, shouldnt it all work regardless of whether it was a Federal or Cali emissions ECM?